If you use Microsoft Power BI for business insights, you’ll want to get to the data that matters. This citizen developer tool is great for connecting company data and providing insightful reports (for more data-driven business decisions).
However, with so much data to get through, you can end up spending a lot of time viewing reports. You might find yourself skim-reading (to find the bits that matter) or wishing that parts of a report went into more detail. In this case, Power BI drillthrough comes in handy. It displays the data that you’ve identified as important and makes finding (and sharing) it a breeze.
What is Power BI drillthrough?
Power BI drillthrough lets you pick out the data that matters. It’s a feature in the data visualization platform that allows you to select data points in a report, focusing on a specific entity (e.g. a customer or supplier).
Why is Power BI drillthrough useful?
Power BI drillthrough is a useful time-saving hack. It improves the experience of reading reports and makes it easier to pick out crucial data. If you want to gain insights quickly, relating to a particular customer for example, then drillthrough can be used to filter the content.
How to set up Power BI drillthrough
Here’s a step-by-step guide for how to set up drillthroughs in Power BI:
- Create a target report page for the type of entity you want (e.g. a customer).
- On the target page, navigate to the Fields section of the Visualizations pane and drag the field for which you want to enable drillthrough into the Drillthough filters well.
- Once you’ve added a field to the Drillthrough filters well, Power BI creates a back button visual (which becomes a button in published reports). Users who view your report in the Power BI service can use this button on the target page to return to the original source page from which they came.
What’s an example of Power BI drillthrough?
Picture the scene. You have a customer base in the UK and want to drill down into the data for this region. To do this, you would create a field for the country “UK”. You can then decide what measures and visuals you want to use. This could include total sales, your sales year-on-year, or perhaps customer hot spots within the region. A visual will show insights from the data in the way that you prefer, e.g. in a map, bar chart, line chart, or table.
Once you’ve set up a “UK” field on the target report page, anywhere that field appears will show data for the region. For example, if you’re viewing a report that has “UK” in it, you can right click, select “Drillthrough” and easily view your business data for that country. You can do this for any country that you like. If you prefer to narrow data down further, you can create a field for specific customers or suppliers. Or perhaps sort by a product or service. How you organize and display your data is up to you.
Why Power BI drillthrough can help your business
Power BI drillthrough allows you to navigate to specific pages within a report. Essentially, it creates an ecosystem in which data points help the user to jump into more precise data when needed.
Power BI drillthrough:
- Saves you time
- Helps you navigate to the data you need
- Creates a more interactive viewing experience
- Provides a more holistic view of your organization’s data
- Generates more comprehensive insights
Power BI drillthrough is not just about a fast user journey between data points. It also promotes a culture of curiosity. If you are viewing a report about a customer, but want to drill down into regional data, product data, or store data, with drillthrough all of this is possible. Once you create the data points, you are free to go down a rabbit hole of data, feeding your curiosity about the corners of your business and gaining new insights.
Power BI drillthrough: the bottom line
For users of Power BI, drillthrough provides a better experience. More detailed reports, quick links between the data points, and a warren of data fields, in which you can get lost. Or navigate to quickly, if you want the highlights.
The function promotes innovation within a business, gives access to unexplored insights, and leads to better business decisions overall.
For the modern business, data is a commodity. Those organizations which use platforms like Power BI, and make use of its detailed functions, will find themselves ahead in the data game. Data provides actionable insights into your business. Harness them and you won’t look back.
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